Heavy snow cleared, Shinku La opened to traffic after 45 days : The Tribune India

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Heavy snow cleared, Shinku La opened to traffic after 45 days

Connectivity restored between Lahaul valley of Himachal and Zanskar valley of Ladakh

Heavy snow cleared, Shinku La opened to traffic after 45 days

BRO Project Yojak Chief Engineer RK Saha at the Shinku La opening ceremony on Thursday.



Our Correspondent

Kullu, April 4

The BRO Project Yojak Chief Engineer (CE) RK Saha participated in the ceremony of opening of the 16,558 feet high Shinku La for traffic after 45 days today.

Earlier, the pass was kept open by carrying out continuous snow clearing till February 18, which thereafter had to be closed due to limited requirement, extreme weather conditions and unprecedented heavy snowfall of approximately 20 feet in the region.

The Chief Engineer said that daredevil teams of 126 RCC braved snow blizzards and sub-zero temperatures to clear the heavy snow accumulation near the pass from both Darcha and Kargiakh sides to restore connectivity between Lahaul valley of Himachal and Zanskar valley of Ladakh.

“Last year, the Pass had been opened after 55 days. Casualties also occurred as one team got trapped in an avalanche. This year the opening time has been brought down to 45 days without any untoward incident,” he said.

The road via Shinku La is strategically very important to connect the border areas of Leh and Ladakh with the mainland. Shinku La is the only pass on the strategically important Nimmu-Padum-Darcha (NPD) road which is the third axis connecting Manali to Leh through Darcha, Padum and Nimmu. The BRO connected the strategically important NPD route on March 25, the work for which was started in 2004.

The Nimmu-Padum-Darcha road is shorter than the other two axis with Shinku La being the only pass on this route. Twin tunnels having length of 4.1 km are proposed under the pass, the work for which is about to commence in June. This will make it an all-weather road and ensure socio-economic development in Zanskar.

Earlier the pass remained closed during winter mainly from October to April, disrupting life in the Zanskar valley. The valley was connected to mainland only through Leh via Kargil or through Manali. In winter connectivity via Leh was unthinkable as extreme cold gripped the area with temperature dropping between -30 degree C and - 40 degree C. The road via Kargil is one of the toughest roads to traverse, often receiving heavy snowfalls of 15 to 20 feet at multiple stretches. However the new NPD axis will be safer and easier for commuters after the remaining work of black topping and improving the standard of the road is accomplished.

#Kullu #Ladakh #Lahaul and Spiti


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